There's been no shortage of talk about the 49ers' quarterbacking situation in 2023, but Brandon Allen hasn't been part of the discussion.
When you stop and think about the San Francisco 49ers' situation under center entering 2023, you're likely wondering about all those storylines centering around quarterbacks Brock Purdy, Trey Lance and Sam Darnold. You're probably wondering who is starting this season or potentially ends up off the roster by Week 1.
Heck, even though he's no longer on the Niners roster, now-Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has somehow found his way back into the San Francisco news cycle.
The one player you're not talking about, though, is quarterback Brandon Allen.
You're excused if you just did a "Wait, who is he?" for a moment. Few San Francisco fans should know much about Allen, the 30-year-old former sixth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Arkansas.
Allen spent parts of two seasons with the Jags before heading to the Los Angeles Rams, but it wasn't until 2019 with the Denver Broncos where he finally saw some field time. Then, from 2020 through 2022, he served behind quarterback Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.
A perennial backup, Allen did have some modestly impressive moments in relief of Burrow back in 2020 and 2021, and those certainly influenced the 49ers' decision to onboard him as a free agent during the offseason.
How much are the 49ers paying Brandon Allen?
The Niners inked Allen to a one-year, $1.233 million contract that carries $200,000 in guaranteed money, according to Spotrac.
While San Francisco would have to eat some dead money if Allen fails to make the regular-season 53-man roster, the actual amount is pretty insignificant.
Case in point, Darnold has $3.5 million guaranteed despite potentially being the third quarterback on the 49ers roster.
And that brings us to our next question.
What do the Niners want to do with Allen anyway?
Predicting Brandon Allen's role with 49ers in 2023, chances of making 53-man roster
San Francisco said goodbye to Garoppolo during the offseason, but that's only the surface of the quarterbacking drama.
As noted earlier, Purdy, Lance and Darnold are all candidates to hold the QB1 role this year. Except Purdy is working his way back from offseason UCL surgery and might not be ready by Week 1.
That would leave Lance and Darnold to compete for the job, yet there's a need to have three quarterbacks on the 90-man offseason roster to ensure the first-, second- and third-team offenses each have a signal-caller at the helm during practices and into training camp.
Hello, Allen. Here is where you come in.
Allen probably knows he's just going to be around for offseason workouts, training camp and the preseason. He'll likely enjoy playing within head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, and some quality preseason outings might help him look good in advance of wherever he ends up after the 49ers trim their roster down to 53 players.
And no more than three quarterbacks.
True, odd things could happen. Perhaps the Niners deal someone like Lance prior to Week 1, and the rumors are there to suggest it's possible. Couple that with Purdy still being on the mend, and Allen could find himself backing up Darnold to open up the year.
Don't go placing bets on that, though.